Barack Obama’s Favorite Books in 2018

In a Facebook post, former President Barack Obama listed his favorite books of 2018.

As 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists. It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved. It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors, artists, and storytellers – some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before. Here’s my best of 2018 list – I hope you enjoy reading, watching, and listening.

Mr. Obama, unsurprisingly, lists the former first lady Michelle Obama’s book, “Becoming” at the top of his list. Mrs. Obama’s book is currently number one on the The New York Times bestselling non-fiction book list.

Here are Barack Obama’s Favorite Books in 2018

Becoming – Michelle Obama 

Barack Obama's Favorite Books in 2018

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An American Marriage – Tayari Jones

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Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die – Keith Payne

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Educated – Tara Westover

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Factfulness – Hans Rosling

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Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging- Alex Wagner

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A Grain of Wheat – Ngugi wa Thiong’o

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A House for Mr Biswas – V.S. Naipaul

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How Democracies Die – Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

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In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History – Mitch Landrieu

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Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela

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The New Geography of Jobs – Enrico Moretti

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The Return – Hisham Matar

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Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

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Warlight – Michael Ondaatje

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Why Liberalism Failed – Patrick Deneen

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The World As It Is – Ben Rhodes

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American Prison – Shane Bauer 

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Arthur Ashe: A Life – Raymond Arsenault

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Asymmetry – Lisa Halliday 

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Feel Free – Zadie Smith 

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Florida – Lauren Groff 

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Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom – David W. Blight

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Immigrant, Montana – Amitava Kumar

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The Largesse of the Sea Maiden – Denis Johnson

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Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence – Max Tegmark 

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There There – Tommy Orange 

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Washington Black – Esi Edugyan

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 Black Enterprise makes a small commission when you purchase one of these products via the embedded Amazon links. 

The post Barack Obama’s Favorite Books in 2018 appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

She Says Michelle Obama’s Right, ‘Lean In’ Doesn’t Work All The Time, Especially For Black Women

Recently, Michelle Obama criticized Sheryl Sandberg’s “lean in” approach for women to advance in the workplace, saying “that s–t doesn’t work all the time.” But the former first lady isn’t the only one who has challenged Sandberg’s commonly referenced business motto, which puts the responsibility solely on women to take ownership of their career without mentioning the systemic barriers for women of color in the workplace.

Earlier this year, during an interview with Fast Company, Minda Harts, the founder of The Memo, dismantled a few career strategies from Sandberg’s New York Times best-seller.

“Lean In was well-intentioned and opened up the conversation, but, you cannot effectively talk about leaning in for black or brown women without discussing the role that race plays and the barriers to even enter the room for a seat at the table,” said Harts. “Lean In didn’t talk about race and it was written from a white-privileged women’s perspective for predominately other white women. One size doesn’t fit all.”

Black and Brown Women Still Vie for Equal Footing 

For over three years, Harts has lead the charge to help women of color secure the seat while challenging companies to acknowledge their systemic racism and how that plays into career advancement opportunities. “Many black and brown women are still trying to earn equal pay, access to good education and healthcare,” she said. “There are so many barriers in place. Lean In once again affirms that it’s up to us to change societal norms. Black and brown women have always been leaning in, so, what do you do when you lean into a system that doesn’t recognize you? That is where we are now. For women of color to get ahead, it will require intentional solutions from our employers.”

Lean in

Minda Harts, Founder of The Memo

Beyond highlighting problems, Harts is a solutions-driven career revolutionary who is using every possible platform to help women prepare for their seat at the table. Earlier this year, she endowed a scholarship at her undergraduate institution for first-generation women of color students and put it in her mother’s name to honor her. Along with her co-founder Lauren Broussard, she created The Memo, a career development platform that provides access to career boot camps, resources, and real-world career advice. She also hosts a weekly podcast called Secure “The Seat.”

To help drive real change within companies and organizations that want to invest in women of color, Harts recently created The Women of Color Equity Initiative. “I am tired of us consistently falling below 10% in most of those workplace statistics,” says Hart. “Hundreds of women of color want access to leadership opportunities and they’ve added their name to the WOC equity career-sourcing database. I’m also partnering with companies and organizations who want to intentionally hire women of color to fill open leadership roles.”

“Part of The WOC Equity Initiative is making sure a cultural shift takes place from the top down. This will require real systems change,” she continues. “This isn’t a ‘binder full of women,’ this is a partnership to create equity once they are hired and a roadmap to the C-suite. I don’t want a woman to get hired and she’s miserable because she’s the only one or dealing with microaggressions. We are too educated and experienced to let our expertise go dormant. I don’t want my sisters to lean out because companies won’t lean into them. We have worked too hard to lean out now.”

 

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EMPLOYMENT UPDATE:

Michelle Obama’s Memoir Sells 1.4M Copies In First Week

NEW YORK (AP) — Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” has become a massive hit.

Crown Publishing told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the former first lady’s memoir has sold more than 1.4 million copies in print and digital formats in the U.S. and Canada in the seven days since it was released Nov. 13.

Based on demand from retailers across all channels, the publisher has printed 3 million hardcover copies in North America. On its first day, the book sold more than 725,000 copies, making it one of the year’s biggest debuts.

Crown also said that “Becoming” is currently the No. 1 adult nonfiction title in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Holland, Spain, Denmark and Finland. In Germany, some 200,000 copies have been sold, prompting a second printing of 100,000 copies.

In the United Kingdom, “Becoming” is published by Viking and it has had five press runs with a total of 575,000 copies in print. In Holland, the Dutch-language edition is the best-selling book in the Netherlands, with the English-language edition ranked second.

“Becoming” is well exceeding the pace of previous memoirs by first ladies. In 2003, Hillary Clinton’s “Living History” had first week sales of around 600,000 copies.

Reviews of the book, which traces Obama’s journey from Chicago’s South Side to the White House, have been positive, with The Washington Post praising its “impressive balance in telling the truth of her challenges while repeatedly acknowledging her lucky life.”

PHOTO: AP


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ENTERTAINMENT UPDATE:

You Mad Or Nah? New York Post Piece Slams Michelle Obama’s Success Post White House

Whether she had students moving their bodies with Beyonce’ in her Let’s Move campaign championing physical fitness or she was letting first-generation college students know that she was with them every step of the way, you’ve got to give it …

MadameNoire

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ Is Already Making Book History

For more than a decade now, we’ve watched Michelle Obama grow, stretch, and transform, becoming who she is today.

Black women, in particular, have observed her with great interest and great love. We have prayed for, cried for, and consistently rooted for her as she evolved from a deeply reluctant public figure into a global icon whose much-anticipated memoir, Becoming, is getting rock-star treatment.

We have revered and emulated her, seeing in her prominent service to our nation new possibilities for making a powerful impact of our own.

Women of color candidates increased by nearly 75% since 2012, according to a report from the Reflective Democracy Campaign. More than 400 black women ran in the midterm elections, including 19 black women in Harris County, Texas, who all won their races to become judges, and Stacey Abrams, who is still fighting to ensure that every vote is counted in her historic race to become the first black woman governor in the U.S.

Can it be mere coincidence that as Michelle Obama recounts her journey to marriage, motherhood, and the White House, becoming a richer, bolder, fuller version of her herself in the process, that generations of women who most identify with her are finding their own voices and becoming a greater force with which to reckon as well?

Just in Time for Christmas: Oprah’s New Favorite Thing

BecomingLaunched halfway between Election Day and Thanksgiving, no sooner did Becoming’s Chicago tour begin than Oprah announced it as her next book club pick—as if it needed the boost. Amazon and Barnes and Noble were reporting record sales weeks before the official launch date and tickets for seats on the former first lady’s 10-city stadium tour (at as high as $ 2,750 apiece) were selling out fast.

Her current megastar incarnation represents quite a shift for a woman who once not only resisted the spotlight—she appeared to recoil from and even resent it. After all, pre-marriage, Michelle Robinson had always worked toward a very carefully crafted vision for her life, and while it included some ambitious and unconventional goals, becoming the first lady or a political spouse of any kind wasn’t among them.

The confident woman who leans a bare shoulder and bright-eyed smile directly into the camera on the cover of Becoming has come a long way from the guarded working mom in sensible heels who routinely declined requests for interviews and speaking opportunities during Barack’s early political life. Back then, she also refused to upend her career or her young daughters’ routines to accommodate her husband’s DC-based job demands or his larger ambitions, which she had reason to resist.

For starters, Michelle Obama had her own career aspirations, a distaste for politics, and a strong attachment to her Chicago hometown. Add to that the brazen fear that you could almost read in her watchful eyes: `What if something happens to Barack? What if my children lose their dad? What if this country doesn’t allow this historic moment to fully play out after all?’

Redefining the Role of a Lifetime

Once the Obama’s made history, there was no time for fear and no turning back. Instantly thrust onto the world stage and into a hailstorm of dizzying expectations and change, she packed up her Chicago dream house (along with her mom and her own dreams of remaining there) and took on the role of a lifetime, one she neither sought nor wanted.

Initially, there was a slight tightness to her composure and an awkwardness to her style. But soon she was an absolute natural, wowing interviewers, world leaders, and her own swelling base of fans.

Smart, self-effacing and impeccably prepared, it was her authenticity that most resonated with people—especially black women. Although she went to Princeton undergrad and Harvard Law School and had worked in well-paying jobs in white-shoe settings, she still bore the recognizable hallmarks of an unapologetic black girl deep-dipped in the instincts, values, adaptability, and resilience of Chicago’s hardworking South Side. Forget trying to hide it, she wore it like the Hope Diamond—with fist-bumping pride.

As Benilde Little wrote in The Meaning of Michelle, a 2017 anthology of essays edited by Veronica Chambers, “It’s hard being oneself under a microscope and the miracle of Michelle is that she seems to have always held on to her authentic self—with lots of her middle name, LaVaughn—holding center.”

While her popularity soared, reaching a feverish pitch toward the end of the Obama’s time in the White House, she was never without her detractors. While she honed her famous “When they go low, we go high” approach to dealing with them, in her earliest days in the spotlight, you could almost see her bracing herself for the ignorance, the disrespect, the inevitable attacks every black woman knows too well.

With trademark restraint, she addresses the issue head-on in her book’s preface this way:

Since stepping reluctantly into public life, I’ve been held up as the most powerful woman in the world and taken down as an ‘angry black woman.’ I’ve wanted to ask my detractors which part of that phrase matters to them most – is it ‘angry’ or ‘black’ or ‘woman?’

In Becoming, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama finally takes back her life and tells her own story, transcending all labels and rendering all outside opinions moot.

The post Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ Is Already Making Book History appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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BEAUTY DEAL UPDATE:

Michelle Obama’s memoir gets picked for Oprah’s book club

Michelle Obama’s new book “Becoming” has earned Oprah Winfrey’s stamp of approval. Winfrey on Monday selected the former first lady’s memoir as her book-club pick. “From the very first pages of ‘Becoming’ I knew I wanted EVERYONE to read it,” the media mogul tweeted. “Book clubs everywhere — you’ll want to make this your next…
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